Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida hosts the Tampa Bay Rays, an American Professional Baseball team that competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League East Division (AL). From the very beginning of its inception, Tropicana Field has been the Tampa Bay Rays home base. It is a domed stadium known as The Trop and sometimes hosts college football as well.
The Tampa Bay Rays is not a very old team but have been established in 1998 as a member of AL East Division till the present day. It was first named as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and that name stayed with it from 1998 till 2007 when it was changed to Tampa Bay Rays. The owner of the team is Stuart Stenberg; who is still the owner while the present manager is Kevin Cash.
Despite marked efforts, the Tampa Bay Rays had a decade of a dry spell – a time when the team saw no title to wet the dry spell; or even a close win. This was finally broken in 2008 when the Tampa Bay Rays saw the first winning season with the AL East Championship and first pennant against the Boston Red Sox in American League Championships. Even though they lost the 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies, their success was not dampened. Since then their efforts have been seen and they have played in the postseasons 2010, 2011, and 2013.
As the team picked up its efforts, several players from the team noticeably displayed exceptional efforts that got them into the Florida Sports Hall Of Fame including Hal McRae as coach and manager, Wade Bloggs as the third baseman, Lou Piniella – manager, Johnny Damon as an outfielder, Tino Martinez at first base, and Fred McGriff at first base. While it is only Wade Bloggs who made it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame; others like; Staats, Magrane, Wills, Olden, and Slowes have all been nominated for the Ford Frick Award, known as the broadcasters' path to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Lately, David Price got the Cy Young Award in 2012 and in 2017 one of the Tampa Bay Rays players namely, Anthony Banda was voted for MVP Award.
The rivalry seems to go hand in hand with baseball, and the Tampa Bay Rays have had their fair share of rivals over the course of their MLB history. Their primary rivals are the Boston Red Sox and this rivalry dates back as far as 2000 season. There has even been reported incidents of bench fights and on-field incidents. But those are not the only rivals, the New York Yankees have been rivals to the Rays, as well as the geographical rivalry that exists between them and the Miami Marlins.
It has been a hard journey for this interesting team, nevertheless they have a notable fan base and the Tampa Bay Rays have also had some outrageous traditions over the years and we are still holding our breath as we wait to see them holding the World Series Title.